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Library Board Meeting Minutes
October 23, 2013

PRESENT: Peter Blake, Brenda Drew, Kirsta Millar, David Lydiard, Danita Green, Daisy Weaver, Gail Zwirner

LIBRARY STAFF: Harriet Coalter, Clay Dishon, Cheryl Clarke, Amy Bridge, Patricia Parks, Meldon Jenkins-Jones, Melissa Schutt, Cristina  Ramirez, Shariff (intern) and Felicia Smith

ABSENT: Larry Olanrewaju, Benjamin Lambert; Laura Drewery, City Attorney representative; Leighton Powell, Friends

Called to order by Peter Blake, Chair at 12:06 p.m.
Minutes from the September 25, 2013 meeting along with the current agenda and pending donation list were unanimously approved.

Public Comment Period

None were present.


1.  Friends of the Library

Ms. Coalter reported in Ms. Powell’s absence:  Fall Book Sale starts on Friday, November 1st, between 10am – 12pm (members only); between 12pm-6pm (public sale) and between 7pm-9pm (First Friday sale).  Book sale will continue on Saturday, November 2nd from 10am-4pm.

2. Library Foundation

Ms. Bridge and Ms. Zwirner reported: Current balance - $40,000.  Fall appeal will be sent out soon.  Recently approved four new board members (Ashley Dobbin, James Beazley, Richard Dunn and Russell Wyatt).  The Foundation anxiously awaits the Library Board’s fundraising proposal.   

          3. Administration





Ms. Coalter reported:

  • East End Library ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Tuesday, October 29th at 4:30pm.
  • The City has made an agreement with restaurants in the vicinity of the Belmont Library for use of the library parking lot after 6pm for  customer parking.  Improvements are being made to the Belmont parking lot.
  • Draft meeting and holiday schedules for 2014 were distributed.
  • Staff Day went well, the focus was on safety and security.  Ms. Clarke will follow up with each branch regarding their emergency preparedness plans.
  • Ms. Coalter requested permission to transfer the 6,000 music scores (Kaminsky Scores) to Randolph Macon.  RPL has only cataloged 200 of the scores and they hold no known monetary value.

Meldon Jenkins – Jones, law librarian, gave a presentation on the B.M.E.R. (Black Male Emergent Readers) Project.  A PowerPoint presentation and brochure was distributed (see attached).  The mission of this project is to reverse inequities in literacy achievements for African American male teens.  The research focus follows Dr. Alfred Tatum, Interim Dean and Professor at the University of Illinois.  Participants will be identified by branch managers and non-profit organizations.  There are several community groups in support of the program, once finalized a list will be shared.  B.M.E.R activities will be held in the community and at the library branches.


1.   Chairman

Mr. Blake: distributed a draft “A Destination of Choice, A Partner of Choice Creating the Margin of Excellence at Richmond Public Library”, which was thoroughly reviewed and discussed (see attached). Changes will be made to reflect suggestions. Ms. Coalter will work with Ms. Drew and Ms. Zwirner to define specific items to present to the Foundation & Friends and the cost of each to present at the next meeting. Ms. Weaver and Ms. Millar will work on the community engagement piece. Branch advisory boards should be actively engaged in this discussion by the Board.

Motion made by Peter Blake to approve the 2014 Board Meeting dates and the 2014 Holiday Schedule. Motion was seconded by Brenda Drew and unanimously carried.

2.   Finance

Ms. Millar reported: The City’s new financial system is not fully functional.  Approximately 25% of the general fund has been spent.  68% of general operating expenses were encumbered or spent.  We are not sure which funds have been rolled over from last year.  E-rate at 86% because funds came in all at once.  The Board could possibly use Special Funds for funding elements of the visioning plan.          

3.   Facilities

Ms. Drew:  No report.

4.   Government Relations

Ms. Weaver would like to make sure the library has a role in the following initiatives from the Mayor’s Maggie L. Walker Anti-Poverty Plan: Adolescent Transition Initiative and the Early Literacy initiative. Ms. Coalter shared that the library is involved in these work groups.

5.   Succession Planning

Mr. Lydiard reported: the committee met on October 10th. A timeline for recruiting a new library director was distributed.  It was suggested to begin tracking board members appointment dates to allow more time for suggesting new Board members for City Council consideration.


1.  Deputy Director

Effective, October 21st, Clay Dishon is the Interim Deputy Director.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 1:17 p.m.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. at the Belmont Library


            Recorder: Felicia M. Smith                                                     Approved:      December 4, 2013                                                                     
                                                                                                                                         Mr. Peter Blake, Chairman